Japanese Foreign Ministry: No Comment on Israeli Shoe Served to PM Abe

Geneva Stokes
May 10, 2018

But that's exactly what's causing an global uproar after Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the official residence of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Celebrity chef Moshe Segev was chosen to create the menu and dishes for the fancy dinner with Abe and his wife, Akie.

"This was a stupid and insensitive decision", the senior Israeli diplomat who formerly served in Japan told the Yedioth Aharonot newspaper.

Japanese etiquette cherishes cleanliness and regards shoes as something left outside the home: the Lonely Planet guide states that "you'll always have to remove footwear when entering a private home, traditional accommodation (minshuku or ryokan), and temple halls".

However, it is still hard to imagine how Moshe's team could conceive that a dessert shoe would be a good idea.

"I cannot believe that you have put shoes on a table for the Prime Minister of Japan. What precisely was this illustrious chef Segev thinking?" the diplomat said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Some Instagram users commenting on the post noted that shoes, in Japanese culture, are seen as particularly dirty.

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Celebrity Israeli chef Segev Moshe creation caused outrage on Instagram where he proudly put up his creation. I can tell you we were offended on behalf of our prime minister.' they said. After the main meal, Segev rolled out the special dessert-various chocolates served in metal shoes.

One Israeli diplomat who served in Japan was equally livid: "There is nothing more despicable in Japanese culture than a shoe. This is disrespect of the first order", the paper said. "If it was humor, we don't think it is amusing; we were offended on behalf of our prime minister".

A source close to the chef stressed that the dessert was not served in a real shoe but rather in leather-looking metal sculptures forged by industrial designer Tom Dixon.

"When you cook at a diplomatic meal, the minimum you can do is inquire about the guest".

When President Trump visited Israel, Moshe prepared his dessert as well.

"Whatever the past, it's an insult to the people of Japan as a whole, even if the shoe was metallic, Israeli ministry should release statement asking for forgiveness; it's simple, if you can't bear insult, don't insult others", another said.

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